More Efforts Needed to Improve Mid-West Region, Says Obaseki

The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, on Monday, said that the issue that gave birth to the creation of the Mid-West Region still exists, noting that efforts should be made to improve the socio-economic condition of the region.

The governor stated this on Monday at the 60th year of the Mid-West Referendum at the Sir Victor Uwaifo Creative Hub in Benin, Edo State.

He said that the Mid-West Region which was carved out of the then Western Region in 1963, three years after Independence and colonial rule, was a product of the bold character and love for freedom of the forebears.

He advocated the need for the leaders to continue to work together to build a state that stood as a beacon of progress and a model of good governance, which had been a testament to the indomitable spirit of the people.

He said, “Today marks a significant milestone in our history as we reflect on our journey as a people, celebrating our achievements, acknowledging our challenges, and renewing our commitment to the ideals that shape our present and future.

“Six decades ago, the people of Edo and Delta states united in agreement for their self-determination, to chart their own course to political and economic freedom and break free from the chains of regional dominance.

“The Mid-West Region in 1963, which was carved out of the then Western Region, three years after Independence and colonial rule, was a product of the bold character and love for freedom of our forebears.

“The region, which later came to be known as Bendel State in 1976, was the first state in Nigeria to be created by a referendum, signalling our staunch belief in democratic ideals.

“It was the foresight, sacrifice, and struggle of courageous and notable leaders such as Oba Eweka II, Oba Akenzua, Chief Dennis Osadebe, and Chief Anthony Enahoro, among others that secured the creation of the then Mid-West Region. They had braved the odds and battled to create a distinctive political identity for a people who have always loved and cherished their freedom, culture, and creative energies.

“In 1991, Bendel State was divided into Edo and Delta states and we are today carrying on with the vision of those who went before us. They set the course for our developmental trajectory and illuminated the pathway for our shared prosperity.’’

In a goodwill message, a former governor of the state, Senator Adams Oshiomhole, urged Obaseki, as the most senior governor of the South-South, to reactivate the Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Edo, and Delta (BRACED) Commission, a regional body aimed at championing the welfare of people of the core Niger Delta.